The proliferation of information and data in open source
social mediums such as Twitter, Facebook and a variety of blog hosting sites
continues to shift the analysis of these vehicles from manageable to
overwhelming, unless of course an entity has the right technology. Social media
comprehension is an essential capability in the Intelligence Community’s (“IC”)
goal to “connect the dots.” One of the keys to unlocking this much-needed
capability is semantic technology.
Semantic technologies include the processing and analyzing of
structured and unstructured data, concepts and relationships, content tone and natural
language. These technologies require more than indexing content; they require
algorithms and sophisticated ontologies in order to understand contextual
meanings. When tracking social media, these technologies need to understand
sarcasm, figures of speech and other rhetorical devices for a complete and
accurate computational analysis.
IC members like the FBI and CIA are actively practicing and developing
semantic processing techniques to analyze social media. In the past, the FBI
has used social media to apprehend criminals. Now, the FBI seeks greater utilization of social
networks as indicated in its recent RFI (posted on January 19, 2012), requesting
market research to determine the capabilities for an “open source and social
media alert, mapping and analysis application solution.” The FBI hopes for
social media semantic technologies to improve its situational awareness and
identify/locate emerging threats.
The CIA’s Open Source Center, led by Director Doug Naquin, is
another example of the IC’s priority to analyze the open source social media
outlets. The Open Source Center monitors up to 5 million tweets per day—a
significant amount but still only 2.5% of the total 200 million tweets
generated each day. Stories of success in this new age of intelligence
gathering also show the IC’s current limitations. For example, the Open Source
Center foresaw the uprising in Egypt; however, the center had no indication of
the timing of when such an event would occur.
The Intelligence Community will continue to demand key
capabilities like semantic technologies in order to harness the full benefits
of what is considered the “Big Data” problem, and large integrators will pay
premiums for companies that provide them access to these capabilities.
To further discuss our analysis of the
Intelligence Community and recent M&A activity, please feel free to contact
Jensen Vessels at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The exponential increase of data and the demand to effectively protect and manage huge data resources raises several issues around security – from embedded security to access management. The
big data problem is getting bigger. Every enterprise data center vendor, from Oracle Corp. to Hewlett Packard Co., sees an opportunity in solving it. Simplistically, the data industry faces three issues.
The first is volume: As more transactions are conducted and recorded on the Web, and more data are collected automatically rather than manually entered, the greater the need for database applications that can process and analyze the higher volumes quickly and efficiently.
Secondly, the data being collected are more diverse. Rather than just focusing on easily organized transaction-ledger information, companies are collecting more so-called “unstructured” data: information about how customers behave, how they use products and Web sites, and how they interact.
Third, analytical demands are greater. Both intelligence and business analysts now need to ask more sophisticated questions of their databases, and they want their questions answered faster and the answers to reflect the most recent data inputs.
ACP has held numerous conversations with big data and data analytics solutions and services providers in the past six months and has published a Big Data Market Update. Moreover, we believe the strong level of interest from both the buyer and investor community will continue to increase. ACP is happy to share our thoughts on the market and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your strategic needs.